“Eskom is not about to collapse.” These were the words of reassurance Public Enterprises Minister, Pravin Gordhan uttered in response to fears that the power utility was on the verge of disintegrating.
As reported by EWN, National Treasury was forced to inject 5-billion into the power utility as a matter of urgency this weekend.
Why was Eskom funnelled R5bn?
As far as we know, the R23-billion bailout that was reserved for Eskom by Finance Minister, Tito Mboweni, was only expected from August.
However, as Gordhan indicated, infrastructural and operational difficulties compelled them to fast-track a part of the transaction. Although, it was not clearly stipulated what the R5-billion would be used for.
“We have the problem well under control. We understand what are the changes that need to be made. Eskom is not about to collapse.
“That it is in difficulty as a consequence of previous leadership we had before, and among those difficulties, are the operational difficulties, meaning providing enough energy,” Gordhan said.
Nobody can confirm Maria Ramos appointment
His ministry also downplayed speculation that the impending unbundling of the power utility would be headed by former Absa chief executive officer, Maria Ramos.
This, according to the Sunday Times, was the next move in the launch of the process that would see Eskom split into three entities — Generation, Transmission and Distribution.
Adrian Lackay, Gordhan’s spokesperson, noted that the power utility was unaware of such an impending appointment. Instead, Lackay noted, the key focus should be on saving the power utility and little else.
“That process must not take effort because you want to ensure that Eskom’s debts are properly investigated and profitable assets are moved to one side and generate money,” Lackay explained.